Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Williams v. Macklin

October 23, 2008


The opinion of the court was delivered by: VIRGINIA M. Kendall United States District Judge


The plaintiff, Willie Williams, currently a state prisoner, has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Williams claims that the defendants, a Cook County investigator and jail officials, violated his constitutional rights by acting with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Specifically, Williams alleges that despite his repeated requests, the defendants denied him his prescribed blood pressure medication for approximately three months. As a result of this lack of medication, Williams suffered a stroke. This matter is before the Court for ruling on the defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim. For the reasons stated in this order, the motion is denied.

It is well established that pro se complaints are to be liberally construed. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); see also McCormick v. City of Chicago, 230 F.3d 319, 325 (7th Cir. 2000). Fact pleading is not necessary to state a claim for relief. See Thompson v. Washington, 362 F.3d 969, 970-71 (7th Cir. 2004). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief," in order to " 'give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.' " Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. ----, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47, (1957)). To satisfy the notice pleading requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), the plaintiff need only state his legal claim and provide "some indication . . . of time and place." Thompson, 362 F.3d at 971. While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. See Bell Atlantic Corp., 127 S.Ct. at 1964 -65 (citations omitted).

As is required by the law, this court takes the allegations in the Complaint as true, viewing all facts--as well as any inferences reasonably drawn therefrom--in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Marshall-Mosby v. Corporate Receivables, Inc., 205 F.3d 323, 326 (7th Cir. 2000); Bell Atlantic Corp., 127 S.Ct. at 1955 (citing Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 508, n. 1, (2002). This court will deny the motion to dismiss the complaint only when it appears that a basis for federal jurisdiction in fact exists or may exist and can be stated by the plaintiff. See, e.g., Norfleet v. Vale, No. 05 C 0926, 2005 WL 3299375, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 5, 2005) (Zagel, J.). A well-pleaded complaint may proceed even if it appears "that actual proof of those facts is improbable, and that a recovery is very remote and unlikely." Bell Atlantic Corp., 127 S.Ct. at 1965. Nevertheless, the factual allegations in the complaint must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level. Id., 127 S.Ct. at 1973-74 & n.14. Furthermore, a plaintiff can plead himself out of court by pleading facts that undermine the allegations set forth in the complaint. See, e.g., Kolupa v. Roselle Park Dist., 438 F.3d 713, 715 (7th Cir. 2006). In short, the purpose of a motion to dismiss is to test the sufficiency of the complaint, not to decide the merits. See Weiler v. Household Finance Corp., 101 F.3d 519, 524 n. 1 (7th Cir. 1996) (citations omitted).


The plaintiff, currently a state prisoner, was a pretrial detainee in the custody of the Cook County Department of Corrections ["the County Jail"] and, later, the custody of defendant Macklin,*fn1 at the time of the events giving rise to this lawsuit. Defendants Earnest Wright and Gary Hickerson were, respectively, the chief and superintendent of the County Jail's Division Five, where the plaintiff was housed. Later, the plaintiff was released to the custody of defendant Maurice Macklin. Macklin is an investigator for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Upon his arrest on September 4, 2007, Williams was ordered held at the Cook County Jail. When Williams was booked in the jail's receiving unit, he informed the screening physician that he suffers from hypertension. Jail officials gave him a seven-day supply of blood pressure medication. The medication ran out on September 10, 2007, and Williams did not receive any more medication until he filed a grievance on or about September 11, 2007, one day later.

Starting September 11, 2007, jail officials gave Williams another seven-day supply, but again, the medication ran out and he did not receive more until about September 19, 2007.

Thereafter, between September 2007 and December 2007, Williams repeatedly informed the defendants that he was being deprived of "critical" medication. Williams wrote defendants Hickerson and Wright letters, filed grievances, and submitted sick call requests to the jail's health care unit, all to no avail. Williams went approximately three months without medication.

On December 3, 2007, Williams was given an "I-bond" (individual recognizance bond, as opposed to having post bail) and placed in the custody of defendant Macklin, who heads a witness protection program. Macklin took note of all of Williams' medical issues and promised to make sure that he received any required medication. However, in spite of this promise, Williams never received any medication while in the State's Attorney's custody, and Macklin ignored his repeated requests for his medicine.

On December 20, 2007, Williams suffered a stroke, ostensibly as a result of the lack of medication.


Accepting the plaintiff's factual allegations as true, the Court finds that the Complaint states an actionable claim against the defendants, to the extent that they are sued in their individual capacities. The plaintiff has articulated a prima ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.